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  • 75% of US startups fail says new study

    A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reveals that the number of startups that fail to return their investors' capital, might be significantly higher than generally reported. The article cites a study by Shikhar Ghosh, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School that estimates that three out of four venture-backed startups go bust. That's in stark contrast to estimates given by the National Venture Capital Association in the US, who puts the failure between 25% to 30%. According to the article, venture capitalists generally agree that "of 10 startups, only three or four fail completely. Another three or...

  • Company Office

    IAB SA makes great strides in 2015

    2015 has seen IAB SA take great strides and have a positive impact on the digital industry in South Africa. The organisation launched several new initiatives and projects, while working towards finding viable solutions for the challenges facing the digital industry. At the IAB SA AGM, held this week, chairperson Jarred Cinman emphasised that the organisation has not only grown in terms of members, but also in realising its vision of making a constructive, positive contribution to the South African digital industry. Its greatest achievements for 2015 include:  Successful engagement with the Film & Publications Board, negotiating an alternative to the direct...

  • 6 data journalism startups you need to know about

    The Knight News Foundation has announced the six winners in its latest Knight News Challenge, focused on data journalism projects. The six winners -- who "make it easier to access and use information on local communities, air quality, elections, demographics and more" -- received a combined total of US$2.22 million in prize money. The data challenge, one of three launched by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation this year, accelerates projects with funding and advice from Knight's network of media innovators. For the data round, the Knight Foundation claims it "sought ideas that make the large amounts of...

  • SA’s eCommerce Awards: the real story

    I write often for tech publications and online media, and try my best (and fail hopelessly) to keep up with the billion daily changes in the digital field. That said, I've picked up on a number of conversations with people in the ecommerce arena that ask about the SA eCommerce Awards. So here's the low down, including all the details. First there was Jump Shopping (now uAfrica.com), an online shop itself, which pivoted into the online price comparison space in 2006. While setting that up, it interacted with most of the ecommerce sites in South Africa, and noticed many were...

  • Metrorail and mobi.lity launch Go Metro mobile information service

    When Ventureburn wrote about mobi.lity earlier this year, we learned about its successful pitch to Western Cape transport agency, Metrorail, for its prototype railway information portal, Metrorail.mobi As part of the region’s ‘Programme of Action’ (PoA) service improvement initiative, Metrorail has now officially adopted the service and rebranded it as Go Metro. Go Metro wil roll out in two phases. The initial service provides train timetables, schedule changes, service updates and other news to commuters; the final phase will provide real-time, up to the minute train schedules and associated platform changes. In its current state, Go Metro provides...

  • Kaboose: Get beauty advice before you go shopping

    Before you go shopping, chances are you've already done some Googling. If you're shopping for beauty products, apparently it just became a lot more fun thanks to Kaboose, a virtual beauty advisor available to shoppers whenever and wherever they choose. Kaboose touts itself as an "easy-to-use" platform, that provides users with personal beauty advice, instant access to the best prices and exclusive deals on beauty and personal care products. Users can access the site via desktop, mobile and tablets. Mobile access is a big push for the company as most people search for shopping items on the go. According to...

  • WPP wants a slice of Native? [RUMOUR]

    Memeburn sources can reveal that the world’s largest advertising and PR conglomerate WPP has been sniffing around high-profile digital agency Native with a view to buying it. A source close to Memeburn says a deal between the two companies is in the works and should be completed soon. When we approached Native MD Jarred Cinman for comment however, he denied that any acquisition deal was in the works. “I don’t know where you’re getting that information from, but it’s absolutely not true,” he said. “Look, in this industry people are always going to talk to each other, but...

  • Startup from Ghana pitches at TechCrunch Disrupt 2012 [Video]

    I'm on a Ghanaian email tech list and, opening my email recently, I was pleasantly surprised to see that a Ghanaian team was pitching at TechCrunch Disrupt. Saya is an app for texting. That mixes SMS, Facebook chat and hyperlocal findability to get in conversations with those near you. They’re on Android, BlackBerry and waiting for their iPhone app to be approved. Robert’s pitch revolves around the 5.8 billion non-smartphones in the world, and how that market has needs that need to be addressed by apps like their own. It provides ways to communicate via SMS in a much more elegant...

  • Meet the company that’s building Asia’s startup database

    I was lucky to have been recently introduced to the folks at Creww.me here in Tokyo . The Japan-based company has some big goals, aiming to collect a database of startups in Japan and around the Asia region – something that is certainly much needed. I had a chance to speak with Sorato Ijichi, its CEO and founder; as well as Kozue Ishii, who is Creww’s public relations representative. Kozue elaborated little bit more about what they have been doing so far, as well as plans that they have for helping out local startups around the region. h3 {margin-top:8px;} What is...

  • Why your startup shouldn’t be afraid to scupper a flagship project

    Something special happened on the tech scene recently. A well-respected company publicly admitted that its flagship project was no longer working right and discontinued it. German task management startup 6Wunderkinder announced that it would no longer be pursuing the development of its project management app, Wunderkit, choosing instead to focus on its list management app Wunderlist which has succeeded beyond its wildest dreams. It’s not a particularly unusual story but the way that it was handled was both graceful and revealing. The company blog reveals that “Since Wunderkit launched in February earlier this year, we have had good sign...

  • If I see another Chinese eCommerce startup, I may get sick

    It seems like one in every three startups I come across these days — especially in China — is an e-commerce startup. I understand why this is the case. People look at companies like Alibaba and think, ‘holy cow, there’s an awful lot of money to be made here.’ Or they look at a company like La Miu working in a niche and think, ‘hey, there’s room for me in there.’ No, there isn’t. Also, I hate you. I get that you want to do a startup, but China has e-commerce sites, both big and niche. Your idea for a...